Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul says McLaren’s decision to switch to Mercedes power units in 2021 will ultimately help Renault achieve its goal of becoming a front-running works team.
McLaren partnered with Renault in 2018 on a three-year deal after three difficult seasons with Honda power, and after a tough first year has shown clear progress this season to sit fourth in the constructors’ championship. It has now been announced that McLaren will return to Mercedes from 2021 onwards – renewing a partnership that ran from 1995-2014 – leaving Renault without any customers at that point.
“Since our partnership began, McLaren has gone from ninth to fourth position in the constructors’ championship,” Abiteboul said. “We can therefore consider this a very successful relationship. However, while looking beyond the terms of the current contract, which concludes at the end of 2020, it was apparent that Renault and McLaren have different ambitions for the future.
“Each of the different elements of this decision have been carefully evaluated over the past few weeks. 2021 will be a crucial season for all teams and it is important for us to have a precise and clear view of the strengths and ambitions of our competitors going forward.
“This decision is in line with Renault’s vision to become a works team, with a goal to return to the front.
“Renault will continue to honor its commitments to McLaren Racing next season, as has always been the case over our long history of engine supply.”
Renault currently sits fifth in the constructors’ championship.